Deciding whether to post commentary during a severe and fast-moving crisis, such as the Russia-Ukraine war, can be a conundrum. Asset managers may be reluctant to make macro calls. Wealth managers may have qualms about commenting on changes to portfolio composition. For both, hesitations boil down to these three reasons:
- You don’t want to be wrong.
- You don’t want to appear mercenary in the face of others’ suffering.
- You don’t want to appear insensitive to those affected.
However, there’s also a risk to not posting if your audience is looking for perspective about the situation and you’re not providing it. What filter should you use to decide whether to post? Here are a few questions to ask:
- Is there something we can say that is genuinely valuable to a client?
- Why would we post this? Is it to help clients (likely a good reason) or to advance your message (maybe not so good)?
- Do we have particular experience in the area in question? Are we specialists with deep knowledge or a unique perspective?
- Are we able to update/repost should the situation change or more information becomes available?
- Do we have something to say that adds to the conversation? More detail? Something other than the conventional view or a view that hasn’t already been shared widely?
- Are our competitors posting about it?
When the world is rapidly changing, clients often seek perspective. And if you can offer genuinely helpful insights, it can cement good customer relationships. Clients don’t expect you to be clairvoyant, so, don’t be afraid to be wrong. But understand that you may have to retract statements and update your thoughts based on new facts. Still, proceed with caution. Aim to help, not to promote.